Fayetteville remembers 9/11
FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- It was a somber occasion with full military honors in Fayetteville Sunday.
A giant American Flag was lowered to half staff with soldiers and first responders standing at attention.
That was the scene Sunday morning at the Main Post Parade Field, where a small crowd gathered to remember the events of 9/11.
Retired General Dan McNeill was the guest speaker. He was also in command of Fort Bragg on September 11, 2001. It’s the one day out of his 40 year career he said he’ll never forget.
"I had some questions in my mind for some time after 11 September if I had done all that I could have done... and should have done,” McNeil said. “I'm a little bit more at peace with that these days. I think we all were doing the best we could."
It’s one of those dates Fayetteville Councilwoman Valencia Applewhite she too said she will never forget. Ten years ago, she was an Air Force Civilian inside the Pentagon when the plane hit.
"What safer place could I be in than the Pentagon and the rest is history- a little while after that there was impact," Applewhite said.
The impact of 9/11 is felt everyday in many military families across the country whose loved ones have been called to fight the war on terror.
Sheila Harriman’s husband was killed by friendly fire. He was the first US soldier to die while fighting in Afghanistan.
"My children have no father, I had no husband, and it was devastating, very dramatic obviously for the obvious reasons, and we had to start a whole brand new life,” Widow Sheila Harriman said.
A wreath was laid at the base of the flag pole and rifles fired 21 times to honor those killed fighting the war on terrorism.
It’s a fight Retired General McNeil says hasn’t ended with the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
"I think there's amble evidence to say the extremist are still out there, their motivation is still very high, and I believe we're going to be engaged and have to remain vigilant for time, perhaps even another decade," McNeil said.
There is an eternal flame that’s burning at the Main Post Parade Field in honor of soldiers who have given their lives and those who are still serving.
It will continue to burn until all soldiers, fighting in harm’s way return home.
fort bragg's pope field, cumberland county, september 11, local/state, gilbert baez
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